The short version of a long review could be simply "The perfect beginners to Intermediate kite." HQ have made a package that for the price is hardly believable, it is built better than some kites twice its price, and offers more as a whole package then some kites three times its price.
# The Package
HQ have really included the lot once again, the package comes standard with:
HQ Beamer IV Kite
HQ Quad Line Handles
HQ Coloured Line Set
HQ Ground Stake
HQ Kite Killers
HQ Instructional DVD
HQ Setup Manual
# HQ Handles
HQ handles are colour coded and clearly marked Left and Right with a large L and R on them. They are comfy and very strong, I am yet to experience a pair breaking after using one pair for over a year on various kites. They have a good width and feel to them, not to narrow so you don't get sore hands. I have large hands and have found some handles that are to narrow leave your hands feeling like you just carried the shopping in with the plastic bags cutting in to your fingers. You don't get this with the HQ handles, they feel comfortable.
# HQ Lines
The lines from HQ keep stepping up and are very "Euro" style on the Beamer IV. Nice strong colour coded power lines that will last, and a slightly thinner set of brake lines to reduce the drag on the brakes of the kite at speed instead of 4 equal weighted lines.
# HQ Backpack
Still featuring their trademark over-size zipper on the front of the bag since the first version, the new bag is very similar to the Beamer III bag with a new colour scheme. Pockets on the inside and outside, enough room for the kite and a few extras comfortably.
# HQ Kite Killers
These are comfortable and don't pinch your wrists when you tighten them up. They're strong so in a good wind you won't find they break when you release to them, they're also stitched and built very well.
# HQ Ground Stake
A nice strong and sturdy ground stake made from metal with a large comfortable plastic top to make pushing it in and pulling it out easy. It's also quite a large top surface so if the ground is hard you can use your foot to lever more weight on to it.
# HQ Beamer IV Kite
The construction of the kite is one of the best on the market, which is amazing considering the price of the kite. It matches up against the $600 to $900 kites easily and still offers more for the money. The stitching and reinforcing around the kite is excellent, clean stitches without bits hanging off. The cell walls are stitched all the way down except the last inch, where there is no cell wall for the last inch of the canopy. This is perfect for those hard crashes where you slam the kite by accident leading edge down, typically a kite will blow the back cells open. On the HQ Beamer IV this allows the air to be distributed throughout the kite, and not trapped in an individual cell causing it to burst the back of the kite open like a plastic bag being popped. The reinforcing on the leading and trailing edge is excellent, it's strong and stitched well so you won't rip the kite or have it come open. There are nice big velcro dirt outs on each corner so you can empty any sand in the kite, these work even better now with the last inch not sewn you can slide all the dirt and sand to one edge for it to all come out. The bridles on the kite are top notch, this has been an area some manufacturers have been reducing the bridle or sleeving to save money over the past year. HQ instead have gone the other way and made it even more robust with excellent reinforcing on all tabs on the kite sail connected to the bridle, and a fully sleeved bridle so you don't risk damaging the inner core of the bridle. They have also changed some of the attachment point locations to suit the new canopy design which is very different from the previous model, still using ample bridle points to ensure that the force is distributed to the right areas of the kite to produce power and stability. The graphics on the HQ Beamer IV is also a nice change, with some nice designs and graphics on the kite.
# Flight Characteristics
The HQ Beamer IV has had some real improvements made to the kite and really takes this kite from a perfect beginner kite to an excellent intermediate kite. If you lay the kite out flat on the ground it has a very unique shape, with both the leading edge and trailing edge tapering right off to the wingtips. In the air you can't see this as much, as the kite has a generous curve to it in the wingtips. This has given the kite incredible stability for a fixed bridle kite, and has also rapidly increased the turning speed of the kite when using brake input. The HQ Beamer IV produces more power per size than the previous model, it also is considerably more stable in the gusts. It happily flys and sits at the edges of the window, and produces a significant amount more power when you get the kite moving compared to the previous model. There's no question that a small 2m, 3m or 4m of these will have you going from beginner to attaining some serious speed. What I also liked with the kite is that you could fly it heavy on the brakes and increase the power of the kite when moving, or fly it loose on the brakes. Either way the kite was stable and behaved and showed its versatility. The beginner flyer will want the brakes looser, making the kite slightly less responsive and more forgiving, an intermediate kiter can then tune it with tighter brakes and bring more responsiveness, power and performance from the kite.
The package as a whole is excellent, well built and performs exceptionally well. I have avoided the term "value for money" as the kite at any price would be an excellent choice, its a bonus that they are so well priced. The package is not lacking in any areas and offers more than most other available options twice its price which is positive to see. The kite could easily suit a beginner or intermediate flyer and outlast a number of other kites due to its excellent construction. If you are a beginner or intermediate kiter looking for a new kite then get a demo of one of these and try it for yourself and form your own opinion!
HQ Beamer IV Kite Gallery
Edited by .Joel